I have spent the last few months feeling like I am chasing my tail. I have been representing a slew of first time buyers looking for townhouses in Prince William County. The current in this market feels swift--swifter than the market reports have been showing.
Right now, using figures from January 2009 shows that we ended the month with 1215 active townhouse listings. The number sold during the month of January were 313. Those under contract in January numbered450. Taking those active listings and dividing by the ones that sold, we find an absorption rate of 3.88. That means it would take nearly four months to sell all of this inventory if nothing new came on the market. And this absorption rate indicates a stablized market.
However, as someone who calls listing agents for townhouses in the Prince William County market daily, I can tell you that this absorption rate is WRONG. An estimated one quarter orf the homes that are showing active are actually under contract with a contingency. If we take that into account, the absorption rate is lower...and squarely a seller's advantage with less than three months to sell everything that's on the market.
A townhouse owner in Prince William County is actually in a seller's market!!
Information in our MLS is only as good as the agents contributing to that MLS are honest. And short sales seem to be the bain of everyone's existence. That's another blog. But the important thing to realize is that, as a result of misinformation in the MLS, the market reports are skewed toward stable, when they are really seller's markets.